Monday, May 16, 2005

Fortune Cookie Laws

I've always wondered how the fortune-cookie-makers come up with the things in fortune cookies.
I wonder if there's a list of "Don'ts" for fortune-writers. Like:

"You will live longer if you eat healthy Chinese food"
"Using chopsticks helps ease carpal-tunnel syndrome"

"Sell all your Microsoft and CocaCola shares today"

"If you see the color red in the next 20 seconds, you will die soon"

A lot of fortune cookies don't have fortunes in them. Just statements of fact:
"You have many warm and loving friends" or advice "Laughter is good for you".
So, there isn't any fortune cookie law that it has to actually be a fortune.

It seems there aren't really any fortune cookie laws, just general guidelines that a fortune cookie should attempt to make the person reading it feel a little bit more happy or optimistic after reading it.

I'm glad I sorted this out, in case I ever become a fortune cookie writer.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Random Name Generator

Since I like to write Sci Fi sometimes, and you always have to think of names for the people in these future, not-quite-like-now societies, I devised the idea of a "Random Name Generator":

This thing would take a consonant or consonant combination (like "th"), then a vowel (long or short), then another cononant or combo, and that would be a guy's name.

For instance:
The first consonant would randomly come up with the sound |l|, the second would come up with a short 'e', and the third would come up with randomly a |k|. Then the character in the story would be named "Lek".

For girls, it would be the same, but with another vowel at the end, so a girl who had gotten the above random sounds would get a random vowel at the end, and might be "Lecky" or "Leki".

You would get lots of normal guys names like "Ben", "Sam", "Luke", "Dave", etc, but you'd get odd-sounding ones like "Choll" or "Fet", etc, and it'd sound realistic but otherworldy- just the way Sci Fi names should be. Of course if it came up with things like "Shit", we wouldn't saddle our poor hero with that name, but just roll again and come up with something else.

I also thought of writing a book set it a society that named their babies like that, but instead of randomly, just in order. So the first boy born would be "Bab", the second would be "Back", the third, "Bad", and so on. The first girl would be "Babba", then "Babbie", "Babbo", etc. This would be instead of numbers. I don't know how many combinations there would be I'll let someone else have fun with the math on that one.

Friday, May 13, 2005


My cat was waiting to escort me into the house when I got home. He walked with me through the door to ensure I made it safely in. Once I got inside the house, my dog took up the post, walking a little in front of me wherever I went, to ensure wouldn't trip over anything but him. They both protected me from talking to any other member of my household, and sat staring at me when I took a seat.
Eventually I bent to their will and gave my dog some treats and opened a can of catfood. I walked out to the porch where the cat's dish was, banged the can onto the dish and then threw it in the recycling. This loud noise startled the bird that had just built a nest on the eave of my porch. She jumped up and flew randomly to the nearest open space, which happened to be through the open door into the livingroom.
She banged around trying to fly through windows and eventully perching on the hanging lamp right above the diningroom table. The cat saw his opportunity and ditched his canned food in favor of something fresher. He was a streak of coiled iron muscles, straight up the chair and onto the table before I could catch him.
I exiled the cat to a spare bedroom while my husband convinced the bird to perch on his finger, and carried her outside.
The bird didn't stop chirping for quite a while, and finally she flew off to find her mate and tell him the exiting story. The cat went back to eating his canned catfood, confident in the knowledge that the bird's nest was right above him, and she'd be back.